Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Good day to be blue

First, the corrupt politician from TX-22 resigns. Then the Massachusetts legislature passes a plan to provide health insurance to all. That makes two steps in the right direction....left!


Blogger Justin said...

It's a good day to be a fan of good government...

DeLay resigning from the House isn't going to push anything to the left. I don't think that a Kennedy is likely to win in the Texas 22nd district. I'm generally glad that DeLay is resigning because he was hurting his party while he was still in the House. I'm far from convinced that he has done anything inappropriate (though I am open to the possibility he did something illegal).

The Massachusetts health care bill seems like an excellent bill combining policy preferences of the left and the right. I'm a bit concerned that companies may not be willing to offer middle income people reasonably priced individual coverage, though, which the bill depends upon. Definitely a reasonable experiment, though.

4/05/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Nice idea in theory, but in practice...

The proposed penalty for an employer (with more than 10 employees) who doesn't provide coverage is only ~$300/year. I'll be moving to Cambridge, MA in the fall, and the health care plan from my future employer (CareFirst Blue Preferred PPO) will cost ~$350/month for an individual or ~$960/month for a family (no separate option for just a couple). So the proposed fee for employers not providing health care insurance is so small that I do not beleive that it by itself will not be effective at changing employers behavior.

Clearly the people who will get free or dramatically reduced premiums would win big under this plan (due to those with higher incomes paying for all or much of their health care). It remains to be seen whether this will reduce the total health care costs for the state (and hence benefit everyone).

4/06/2006 12:55:00 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

Why are you moving back to Cambridge? And are you bringing your better half back as well?

4/06/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Yes, all halves will be coming. I'll be a postdoc at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, about a mile up Garden street from the Harvard Square T stop.
Christina is still working on a few different options.

I forget, who all is living around there these days?

4/06/2006 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

Is Vincent still at Harvard-Smithsonian?

Congrats on the postdoc-ship.

4/06/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Vincent said...

Negative. I've been in New Mexico for almost two years now.

Yes, congratulations!

4/06/2006 11:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in Waltham, MA! Good to have you guys back! -quark

4/07/2006 01:40:00 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

What's in New Mexico?

4/08/2006 12:41:00 AM  
Blogger Vincent said...

NRAO, for one. Plus some huge mountains, a giant gypsum sandbox, lava flows, canyons, desert, forests, Smokey the Bear, 17th century ruins, cliff dwellings, ferocious winds, softball-sized hail, etc. You know, the usual.

4/08/2006 01:48:00 AM  
Blogger Mwal said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/08/2006 04:52:00 AM  
Blogger Mwal said...

Congratulations to CfA on a good catch!

4/08/2006 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Thanks jocave, vincent, and mwal.

Jacob: We should make a point of getting together once we're in Boston.

Mwal: So are you still in San Jose? If so, want to get together again sometime?

4/09/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Mwal said...

Actually I am headquarted in Cambridge, MA at present. In the fall I might be in the Bay Area if I'm not somewhere else.

4/10/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Mwal: We'll be moving to Cambridge sometime in August. So maybe we can see you in late summer?

BTW- Any tips on finding a place to live?

4/10/2006 05:32:00 PM  
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